Debating India


`LDF secured votes of extremists’

Wednesday 8 June 2005

Special Correspondent

UDF convener says it is only a `marginal’ victory

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: UDF convener P.P. Thankachan has alleged that the CPI(M) candidates in Koothuparamba and Azhikode had secured the votes of extremist and fundamentalist organisations such as the National Development Front (NDF) and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Mr. Thankachan said that it was natural that CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan would have difficulty in naming the `outside support’ his party had got in the byelections.

Mr. Thankachan claimed that the victory was marginal considering the support that the CPI(M) candidates had got from constituents that quit the UDF, the NDF and the Jamaat-e-Islami. When compared to the last parliamentary elections, the LDF polled only 5,114 votes more in Koothuparamba and 3,306 votes in Azhikode, despite a higher percentage of polling.

Mr. Thankachan said that the organisational weakness of the Congress and the sympathy factor for the CPI(M) candidate in Koothuparamba, P. Jayarajan, were the main reasons for the defeat.

The National Congress (Indira) and other former UDF constituents hardly had any role in the defeat.

The fact that these two seats were CPI(M) bastions could not be forgotten. He termed as baseless the charge that the UDF had become irrelevant and the assessment that the results would have a bearing on the coming local body elections and the Assembly elections.

He welcomed the CPI(M)’s decision not to field a candidate in the Rajya Sabha election and in turn helping A.K. Antony to get elected unopposed. But it is significant that the decision was taken without even a discussion in the LDF or the CPI(M).

He refuted the allegation that Mr. Antony had delayed his resignation as MLA only to avoid a byelection in Cherthala. The UDF is not opposed to the bypoll, though the decision is in the hands of the Election Commission.

In reply to a question, he said that the UDF liaison committee would discuss the reasons for the electoral defeats and prepare a strategy to correct its mistakes.

Mr. Thankachan wanted all nominees of the UDF constituents who had left the coalition to resign their posts in the interests of political decency.

See online : The Hindu

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